Apricot also, known as Khumani is one the healthiest fruit offering innumerable health benefits. The origin of apricot fruit still is up for debate, some claiming it to have ben discovered in China, Mediterranean and/or even India. Whatever the origin, Apricot offers more pound per pound nutrients than most of the fruits available.
Nutritional facts of Apricot
As per the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) National Nutrient Database, a fresh apricot weighing 35 gm contains 16.8 calories, 0.49 gm of proteins, 0.7 gm of fiber, 3.89 gm of carbohydrates, 0.14 gm of fats, 3.23 gm of sugars, 0.14 mg of iron, 0.35 mg of sodium, 4.55 mg of calcium, 90.6 mg of potassium, 8 mg of phosphorous, 3.5 mg of magnesium, 0.07 mg of zinc, 0.03 mg of copper, 0.21 mg of niacin, 33.6 mcg of vitamin A, 1.16 mcg of vitamin K, 3.5 mg of vitamin C, and 383 mcg of Carotene-ß.
Apricot is a rich source of vitamins and minerals. It is loaded with numerous nutrients, minerals, and vitamins.
Potential Health Benefits of Apricot
1/5. Promotes eye health
1. Apricots are a rich source of nutrients such as carotenoids and xanthophylls, which help prevent age-related damage.
2. Carotenoids decrease the oxidative stress on the retina and lens promoting eye health. Lutein protects the retina from damage due to blue light.
3. The vitamin A content of apricots prevents night blindness and age-related macular degeneration.
4. Local application of apricot kernel extracts stimulates the production of tears thus decreasing dry eyes.
2/5. Boosts bone health
1. Apricot contains adequate amounts of all the minerals that are essential for bone development such as, calcium, phosphorous, iron, manganese, and copper. The abundant content of calcium in apricots prevents osteoporosis. Potassium is required for the absorption of calcium.
2. Apricots help in reversing bone loss and even in altering bone metabolism in postmenopausal women.
3/5. Treats anemia
1. Apricots being a good source of iron help in treating anemia. Iron enhances the production of hemoglobin.
2. The vitamin C content of apricots helps in enhancing iron absorption.
4/5. Treats constipation
1. The fibre content of apricot promotes smooth bowel movements. Fiber aids in the stimulation of the gastric and digestive juices which aids in the absorption of nutrients and break down of the food for easy processing.
2. The pectin and cellulose content of apricot acts as a mild laxative which helps in the treatment of constipation.
5/5. Other possible benefits…
Apricot produces several health benefits, apart from the health benefits mentioned above, it also produces few more such as promotes skin health, boost digestive health, aids in the treatment of diabetes, fights inflammation, prevents liver damage, protects the heart, aids weight loss, beneficial during pregnancy and treats earache.
Also treats respiratory ailments, delays signs of ageing, boosts hair growth, treats scalp issues, prevents cancer, relieves asthma, maintains electrolyte balance, cures fever, reduces blood pressure, protects the liver, useful for blood clotting, and regulates heartbeat.
It is estimated 100 grams (3-4) of Apricot (Khubani) contains only 50 calories and can be an integral part of any weight loss program.
How to incorporate Apricots in the Diet?
Apricots can be eaten in multiple ways. The can be easily consumed in the fresh and dried forms. Some of the ways by which apricots can be incorporated in the diet are as follows…
- Added in salads.
- Added to cereals.
- Used in desserts.
- Blend it with yogurt.
- Used in jams and preserves.
- Used to prepare milkshakes.
- Make a dip, sauce, or a spread.
- Used in bakery products such as cakes, pies, pastries, tarts.
How to prepare Grilled apricot salad?
Take 5 apricots, slice and pit them. Toss them with olive oil.
Place the cut side of the apricots down on the grill and cook it for approximately 2 minutes, until charred.
Take 1 tablespoon of pumpkin seeds and ¼th cup of crumbled cheese and place them in the center. Place the grilled apricots around the perimeter.
Sprinkle salt and pepper over the salad and serve.